Have you seen those cute little tomato planters that hang upside down- the ones with the hefty price tag of $15-40!? Well, I loved the idea, hated the price so we decided to make our own. Here’s a very simple tutorial to MYO upside down tomato planter in ten minutes flat.
MYO Upside Down Tomato Planter
1 Large Planter
Drill with 1 1/2- 2″ bit
1 Tomato Seedling (per planter)
Herb Seeds (for the top)
Planting/ Potting Mix
Coffee filters or weed-free fabric (small square with an x- cut into it)
First, you’ll need a large hanging planter. The one pictured here is from Lowes and was $2.
Depending on the size of your seedling, choose your drill bit size. Here we used a 1 1/2″ drill bit.
Line the hole with several coffee filters or a small piece of “weed-free” fabric. This prevents the soil from dropping through when watering.
Carefully insert the seedling into the bottom of the hole, this is considerably easier if you have a helper. I didn’t – which is why you don’t have a photo of it! Cut a coffee filter in half and place half on each side of the seedling stem, to prevent soil from falling through the hole.
Add potting soil. Plant the herb seeds on the top; I planted basil, rosemary, and parsley. After a few days, the seedling will start to turn to grow Upwards towards the light. Hang it in a very well-lit area of your home. If you’re making hangers to leave outdoors, drill several small drainage holes into the bottom of the planting bowl.
You can also use 3 or 5-gallon pails as planters.
5/30/2011 **UPDATE* Here’s a shot of the tomatoes 5 weeks later! This planter is outside at the moment so that the bees can pollinate the flowers which really isn’t a problem because most tomato varieties are actually self-pollinating! Notice the nice fat tomatoes on the bottom, they’re still green, but getting there!
If you start tomatoes in mid to late August, you’ll have delicious fresh tomatoes before Christmas. Use your existing tomato plants to propagate free tomato plants and extend the growing season. These make lovely, well-received gifts, particularly in colder areas. Just ensure that your plants are getting plenty of light from a nice window location so growth isn’t stunted.
If you want to increase production, use banana peels as fertilizer!
Benefits of Growing Upside Down Tomato Plants
1. Higher Yield– An upside-down tomato plant usually produces more fruit than a conventional plant.
2. Easier to harvest – the upside down plant makes it easy to reach and pick the fruit.
3. Fewer pests and diseases – Upside down plants are less prone to pests, diseases, and fungi.
4. Better air circulation – downward facing plants have better air circulation, which helps to prevent diseases.
5. More compact – Because upside down plants are more compact, they take up less space than their upright counterparts.
6. Versatile – You can use upside-down tomato plants in a variety of ways, including planting them in hanging baskets or using them as topiaries.
7. Fun – growing upside down plants is a fun way to garden, and it’s a great way to get children interested in gardening.
8. Beautiful – Inverted plants add beauty and interest to any garden.
9. Healthier Tomatoes– Tomatoes will be less likely to rot because they are kept off the ground and out of contact with dirt.
10. Low maintenance – upside-down plants require very little maintenance, which makes them perfect for busy gardeners.
DIY Upside Down Tomato Planter
- Hanging Plant Pot (or 5 Gallon Pail)
- 1 1/2 inch Drill Bit & Drill
- Coffee Filters (or weed-free fabric)
- Potting Soil
- Tomato Seedling
- Flip the plant pot over and drill a hole in the bottom.
- Line the hole with several coffee filters (or weed free fabric) with an "X" cut into them to allow the seedling to be fed through the hole.
- Carefully insert the seedling into the bottom of the hole.
- Add potting soil. Plant additional herb seeds on the top
- Hang it in a very well-lit area of your home or patio.
Delicious Tomato Recipes
Since you now have an abundance of delicious, fresh tomatoes, here are several recipes to enjoy that bounty!